Brooklyn Center residents have elected council members for the last 100 years to represent the entire city. But that could change if the city's Charter Commission proposal is approved by voters this fall.
A question on the November ballot will ask Brooklyn Center voters whether to change the current "at-large" system to a "ward" system. A ward system has council members representing distinct geographic areas of the city. Currently, each of the four council members represent the entire city.
Council Member Dan Ryan says the change to a ward system is not needed because of Brooklyn Center's small size.
"Candidates who run at large for city council must learn what the issues are in every corner of the city, and when elected, they will understand the challenges facing the whole city and not just in one ward," said Ryan. "At-large representation on the council over the years has led to better decision-making."
Mayor Tim Willson and other council members agreed a change is not necessary. Council Member Kay Lasman also says redistricting the wards could create further burdens.
Even so, the city's Charter Commission has the authority to put the question on the November ballot.